CABINET DECISIONS – 05 JULY 2019
1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Industrial Property Bill into the National Assembly. The main objects of the Bill are to –
(a) expand the scope of protection of industrial property to cover utility models, layout-designs of integrated circuits, breeder’s rights and geographical indications, and thereby promote innovation and creativity, the introduction and development of new, improved and innovative plant varieties in Mauritius and the protection of products which have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, characteristics or a reputation which are essentially due to that origin;
(b) bring together under one enactment the provisions of the law relating to the protection of industrial property rights namely, patents, utility models, layout-designs of integrated circuits, breeder’s rights, industrial designs, marks, trade names and geographical indications, and to provide for related matters; and
(c) enable Mauritius to accede to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, for the filing of international patent applications, the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, and to comply with its obligations thereunder following accession.
The Bill also –
(a) makes better provision in relation to the Industrial Property Office of Mauritius, which shall be headed by a Director, and in relation to the Industrial Property Tribunal; and
(b) provides for the setting up of an Intellectual Property Council the role of which shall be mainly advisory, and which shall ensure coordination among the public and private sectors in the formulation of intellectual property policies and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mauritius Ports Authority and the Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co Ltd of the People’s Republic of China for collaboration in areas of port development, promoting transshipment traffic, knowledge transfer and exchange of information necessary for accelerating and facilitating flow of commercial goods. The Memorandum of Understanding provides for a collaborative framework to promote the trade and shipping business of both ports. The main benefits to be derived by the Mauritius Ports Authority include, among others –
(a) an increase in carrier services between Ningbo Zhoushan Port and Port Louis and in import and export cargo volumes between China and Mauritius;
(b) fostering international shipping business activities between the two ports for the purpose of realising economies of scale;
(c) fostering collaborative efforts for enhancing port productivity; and
(d) technical training and personnel improvement to enhance port performance including proper use of tugs and hands on training through extensive ship simulation exercises.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a lease agreement between the Ministry of Housing and Lands and the Victoria Station Ltd for the implementation of the Victoria Urban Terminal project which would include -
(a) an overhead bridge linking the Victoria Bus Terminal to the Metro Express Terminal;
(b) the bus terminal and hawkers’ area; and
(c) the remaining amenities such as office space, commercial facilities, among others.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the change in appellation of the National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Foundation into the National Social Inclusion Foundation as announced in Budget Speech 2019-2020. Cabinet has also agreed to amendments being brought to the Charter of the National CSR Foundation in the context of the new National Social Inclusion Foundation.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Sports Complex and Stadium (Control) Regulations would be amended to incorporate new stadiums and sports complexes which have come into operation since 2003 onwards so as to enable the Police to effectively control and manage crowd behaviour in stadiums and sports complexes during the forthcoming Indian Ocean Islands Games.
New sports disciplines, namely Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Beach Volley, Cycling, Cricket, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Jujitsu, Kyokushinkai, Motorcycling, Ringball, Rugby, Sailing, Sumo, Triathlon and Wushu are being included in the Regulations.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport would organise a three-day Regional Workshop on the theme ‘Strengthening the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity’, from 16 to 18 July 2019, in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Indian Ocean Commission and the European Union. The main objectives of the Workshop would be to create a new regional platform among participating countries to tackle regional disaster risks, enhance the capacity to identify loopholes in management of disaster risks in the countries of the region and embark on the outlines of future projects and/or partnerships with a view to making Mauritius more resilient to natural phenomena. The themes to be considered during the Workshop would include, among others, weather observations, flood control and landslide management.
7. Cabinet has agreed to pilgrims proceeding on Hadj 2019 pilgrimage being exempted from payment of the Terminal Expansion Fee and Passenger Solidarity Fee in addition to the Passenger Service Charge and Passenger Fee.
8. Cabinet has taken note that United Nations International Day of Cooperatives would be celebrated on Saturday 6 July 2019. The theme chosen this year is ‘Inclusive development and decent work’ with the slogan, “Coops 4 Decent Work.”. The Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives would organise, among others, the following activities –
(a) a Gathering for Cooperators at Octave Wiehé Auditorium, University of Mauritius on 6 July 2019 where some 1,000 members of cooperative societies are expected to be present. The ceremony would comprise, inter alia, the launching of the “Top 100 Cooperatives” magazine and National Cooperative Awards competition, an exhibition on the theme “Coops 4 Decent Work” and a cultural programme; and
(b) a three-day National Cooperative Market Fair at Réduit with the participation of some 200 cooperators including 20 from Rodrigues.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Annual Report of the National Housing Development Co Ltd for the year ended 31 December 2017 would be laid before the National Assembly shortly.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Agalega Island Council with Mr Gino Alfred as Chairperson.